Seismic Design of Foundations

Title Seismic Design of Foundations: Concepts and Applications
Authors Subhamoy Bhattacharya, Rolando P Orense & Domenico Lombardi
Publisher ICE Publishing
Year 2019
ISBN eISBN: 978-0-7277-6167-5
ISBN: 978-0-7277-6166-8


By Nick O'Riordan (Arup)

The authors have drawn upon their direct experiences of recent earthquakes to produce a good introduction to the subject that will help to infill gaps on technical bookshelves. As would be expected from academic authors the basic concepts used in codes are well covered, however it is in the practical application of these concepts that the book is light.

With increasing urbanisation in seismically active zones, increasing focus on social and business resilience, digital engineering, the instrumentation of structures and the ground, and near-instant feedback from globally deployed seismographs this reviewer was disappointed to find no coverage of fundamentals to aid risk communication and mitigation, other than to observe, post L’Aquila, that articulation of such risks is important.  Descriptions for the selection of appropriate soil properties are reasonable although rate effects and hysteretic damping as large shear strains develop, especially at the low effective stresses that are a feature of bearing capacity triggering, are not discussed. Important areas such as spectral matching and selection of ground motions, (free-field) site-specific response analyses, liquefaction behaviour and piled foundations are described and referenced to a depth that enables the reader to locate more specialised publications.

Readers expecting to encounter detailed coverage of soil-structure interaction methods that can legitimately reduce foundation size and structural demand, or indeed aid back-analysis, will be disappointed. Inertial mass participation at various structural vibration modes is mentioned in passing but no examples are given. Whilst liquefaction assessment methods are described in some detail, the design, evaluation and effectiveness of countermeasures for controlling the associated cyclic displacements are left almost at the level of anecdote. There is very limited coverage of retrofitting installations in the aftermath of seismic events, or to comply with new code requirements.